Leaders of the Wisconsin Beef Council board and staff recently attended the Latin American Product Showcase in San Jose, Costa Rica. This was the 10th annual showcase event, which is hosted by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Wisconsin farmer Any Radunz attended the event and says it was a great opportunity to showcase U.S. beef; “It kind of brings buyers and sellers together, right, U.S. sellers of beef and pork and buyers from Central America, the Caribbean and South America. So, what we really wanted to just see is how this all works. We have two packing plants in Green Bay, and just trying to find opportunities of how we can get more of that beef exported.”
The group also had the opportunity to visit grocery stores featuring U.S. beef in Costa Rica; “One of the comments that was made is once they try U.S. beef, they come back for it. And if you look in the meat case, they have more bos indicus breeds, a little bit more grass finished. And so, the domestic beef they have there would have less marbling, maybe be a little tougher, and so folks appreciate the higher quality beef that we’re bringing in.”
She says Central America is a promising, developing market for the U.S. with favorable tariff conditions afforded to the U.S. through the Central America and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement; “Absolutely it is. And again, our goal is to help increase the demand for Wisconsin beef. And part of what we saw coming out of our Wisconsin plants, probably from a price point fits that market a little bit better. We were very optimistic about the opportunities, especially coming from Wisconsin and the beef we’re producing here, that we can add value to it by getting it consumed in Latin America.”
Current exports of U.S. beef to Central America are outpacing last year’s volume by 46 percent, through June of 2021.